VERSAILLES, France – President Emmanuel Macron convened the “Choose France” summit on Monday, gathering prominent business leaders including Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and the head of Pfizer, to encourage increased investment in the country. Macron’s office announced that France is set to receive a record amount of foreign investment pledges.
Facing declining popularity due to controversial retirement age reforms, Macron views the summit as an opportunity to regain momentum for his pro-business agenda and highlight his commitment to sustainable industries, particularly electric vehicles.
Approximately 200 business leaders in attendance at the Versailles event have committed to investing a combined total of €13 billion ($14 billion), marking the highest amount of investment since the inaugural summit in 2018, according to the president’s office.
During the summit, Musk, who also had a luncheon meeting with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, expressed confidence in Tesla’s future investments in France without providing a specific timeline. Musk commended President Macron and the French government for their hospitality, stating, “No announcement today but I am very impressed with President Macron and the French government and how welcoming they are,” in response to reporters’ queries.
With @ElonMusk, we talked about the attractiveness of France and the significant progress in the electric vehicle and energy sectors. We also talked about digital regulation. We have so much to do together. See you this afternoon at the #ChooseFrance Summit! pic.twitter.com/wkdwjv45OG— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 15, 2023
Discussions at the summit covered various topics, including the European response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and France’s progress in attracting investment, as well as advancements in electric vehicles and energy. Macron expressed optimism in a tweet, stating, “We have so much to do together.”
Finance Minister Le Maire seized the opportunity to present Musk with new tax credits for investments in green technology recently unveiled by the French government. When asked about efforts to convince Musk to establish a gigafactory in France, Le Maire opted to keep the details of their negotiations confidential, citing intense competition between rival blocs. He remarked, “It’s a battle where no one is doing anybody any favor.”
Previously, France had attempted to persuade Musk to choose the country as the location for a European gigafactory, but Germany was ultimately selected as the site for Tesla’s only such plant in Europe to date.